Members of Loyola’s non-tenured track (NTT) faculty union have continued to organize in hopes of making prospective students aware of their cause during Loyola Weekend, organizers said at a town hall meeting Friday.
Loyola Weekend is an annual event where prospective students are invited to Loyola to tour campus, meet professors and hear from student organizations. Loyola Weekend will go through Sunday.
The union, represented by Services Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73, has been negotiating contracts and wages with the university since June 2016. Some members went on strike Wednesday after another failed bargaining meeting Monday.
Held in Cudahy Science Hall Friday afternoon, the town hall was arranged in a question-and-answer format with seven union panelists offering insight and information on the negotiations between the union and university administration.
Alyson Paige Warren, an NTT faculty member in the English department and union organizer, said professors won’t back down just because prospective students are visiting.
“We are educators and we know that parents will be on campus this weekend, [prospective] students will be on campus this weekend, and we intend to educate them about what’s going on here,” Warren said. “Before they make the choice of whether or not they should come to Loyola … We want to make sure that they have all of our facts.”
Organizers have been reported in front of Damen Student Center passing out flyers for their cause Saturday during Loyola Weekend.
Some panelists and attendees said the university hasn’t acknowledged the importance of its faculty. Panelist Matthew Williams, a full-time NTT faculty member in the sociology and global and international studies departments, called the relationship between administration and its faculty “abusive” and one professor in the audience called Loyola a “retaliation-rich environment.”
According to a statement from university President Jo Ann Rooney to the Loyola community, the university has proposed pay increases and merit raises for SEIU-represented faculty, longer appointments for unionized faculty and creation of a professional development fund specifically for unionized faculty, among other things.
“We value our NTT full-time and part-time faculty and their many contributions to the fabric of our University community,” the statement, sent via email Wednesday, said. “Our goal is a fair and reasonable contract that is consistent with our commitment to social justice, our Jesuit values, and our commitment to keep Loyola affordable and accessible. Our proposals reflect that.”
University Communication Specialist Evangeline Politis didn’t respond to The PHOENIX’s requests for comment at the time of publication.